Naftali Bennett
Naftali BennettYonatan Sindel/Flash90

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett held a discussion Thursday morning on easing the coronavirus restrictions.

At the start of the discussion, Bennett said, "We are seeing a decline in the number of severely ill. This wave is breaking."

"Our strategy, of an open economy alongside a struggle and many actions against the coronavirus, has led to the State of Israel being first in growth among the developed countries and to a level of economic growth that we have not seen in 21 years.

"Israel is the fastest-growing country thanks to the health system and the team here that has been working around the clock. We are talking about 8% growth, the highest among OECD member states. In the last quarter there was 16% growth.

"We were the first country to close its gates in the Omicron wave; therefore, this is also the time for a gradual relaxation. As far as I am concerned, we must prepare to relax the restrictions soon."

Bennett added that in his opinion, "An open economy and an open educational system, without reaching supply failures – these are the right balances."

"I would like to thank you for your dedicated and professional work: The Health Minister, the health system leadership, to all of the partners here. This is a joint success. The hospitals and HMOs did amazing work and allowed us to have a growing economy."

"At the same time, we will also prepare for the next wave," Bennett said. "I want us to learn the lessons where necessary from managing this wave so we will be better prepared for future scenarios."

It was decided that the Green Pass plan will not be extended. Antigen tests will continue to be required upon entering retirement homes."

The discussion on coronavirus restrictions was then halted due to Prime Minister Bennett's meeting with US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. An additional discussion on further measures to ease restrictions will be held.

Participating in the discussion were the Health Minister, the Health Ministry Director General, the Deputy Director of the National Security Council, the national coronavirus project manager, the Director of the Public Health Service, GOC Home Front Command, the Finance Ministry Budget Director, the Finance Ministry Accountant General, the Deputy Attorney General and other senior officials.